What to expect on a tapas tour in Sevilla
Spain in general and Seville in particular are places well known for their food and visitors see in our gastronomy one of their motivations to visit the city. Seville has more than 4000 bars and finding the right one can be challenging so starting your stay with a food tour sounds like the perfect introduction to the city. And of course it is! But before we venture ourselves in one, there are a number of things that we should know beforehand:
1. You'll get what we get
Let me explain this. In some other countries what you get in food tours are samples of dishes for you to try, but if you come back to the bar and want to order the same, you might have to commit to a whole plate. In food tours in Seville you'll -generally- get the food exactly in the same format as in a normal order. This is an advantage because you can really know what to expect if you decide to give that delicious dish another try!
2. It's also about the experience
I think we would be missing a very important part of the essence of food tours if we'd say it's all about the food only. Places like Seville, with such a vibrant and social atmosphere needs to be experienced at its most. The art of tapeo is going to different bars in a very dynamic and social way. This means that most of the times the small taverns lack of seats and us locals love to stand up so that we can move around our group of friends easily. Yes, I know, you've probably been sightseeing the whole day and you were looking forward to enjoying a nice sitting down meal on tour. I recommend you to rest a bit before so you are ready to share your elbows with us in the bars!
3. You are not paying only for the food
As a food tour guide myself, one of the few negative comments that I've seen is about the price of the tour in comparison with the price of a tapa. Well, unlike other countries, Spain taxes any cultural product with 21% VAT. Also, it is not that you're doing the tour on your own, included in the price you have the services of a guide who will provide you with information about the food, the city and who will give you personalized assistance in case you have any dietary request. Lastly, in the case of an agency, behind the tour there are people working in product, marketing, customer service, management, etc without whose work these experiences would not be possible.
4. We're giving you "authentic" food
Alright, I hate the word authentic, but could not find any better word to describe it. I lead food tours myself and after some research on where other companies and guides go and what they order, I can tell you, as a Seville native, that the places we all go are those where locals go to and the food is the one we like. I'm saying this because I've read some comments implying that the food is bad quality or looked cheap and they ate much better food in [insert bar here]. Implying the food tour did not offer real Seville cuisine, or as if they were being cheated. Well, that's why I'm writing this: if that's how you feel, don't worry, food tours in Seville (now, April 2019) are quite accurate and it's simply that you don't like Andalusian cuisine. And it's okay! :-D As many others in the world, our gastronomy is made out of hard times when people had to put together few ingredients they had and be creative, so maybe that's why it might look "cheap" for some people. So, if you're expecting avant-garde or haute cuisine, make sure you sing up for a tour that states they're taking you to a modern-twist tapas bar and not only traditional :-)